Clarice Gomes Interview Gift A-long 2019

Clarice Gomes Interview Gift A-long 2019

Clarice Gomes, Indie Design Gift A-Long 2019 Interview

Today we’re chatting to a good friend of mine, Clarice Gomes, tell us a little about you Clarice.

I’m a fifty-something years old Portuguese woman with two grown-up sons and live in the Lisbon area. I have a full-time job in HR and a passion for designing knitting pieces, mainly shawls.

Marafado by Clarice Gomes

Marafado by Clarice Gomes

How did you get into knitting/crochet and who taught you? 

My Godmother taught me how to crochet when I was 6 and my Mom taught me to knit two or three years later. I still treasure the doll clothes I made back then!
While living with my parents, I knitted jumpers and pullovers for everybody at home, so now I avoid them.

What made you want to start designing?

As a young adult, I never followed knitting patterns for my projects. Magazines inspired me and taught me about shapes and stitches and I did the rest. When I restarted knitting, I discovered patterns and followed them eagerly. But at some point, it wasn’t enough.

The final thrust into designing was curiosity, realizing I could do it. And the restlessness of wanting something different, something that wasn’t available. And the will to prove that there is always a way to get the result you want. Or ten, you just have to choose your own.

Tertúlia by Clarice Gomes

Tertúlia by Clarice Gomes

What’s you favourite part of the design process?

After having knit the first sample, adjusting it to make it simpler and intuitive for others to knit.

What inspires you?

A new yarn, an unusual shape, browsing through knitting books and patterns – inspiration comes from unexpected places sometimes.
Despertares Shawl by Clarice Gomes

Despertares Shawl by Clarice Gomes

 

Are you a full-time or part-time designer and how does that fit into your life?

I’m a part-time designer only. Thinking about knitting and stitches and lace is one of the ways my brain uses to relax, so pretty much every free moment I dream of new patterns.

Do you have a favourite thing to design and why?

My favourite thing to design is shawls. I like the challenge of combining stitches in a way that looks natural like they were conceived just for that, even if they came from different sources or just my own thinking.
Aconchego by Clarice Gomes

Aconchego by Clarice Gomes

 

Do you have much time to make things for yourself or for gifting?

I don’t have much knitting time, I usually focus on working my samples. I wear them all especially the shawls, but sometimes gift one (shawl, cowl or hat) to close friends or family.
 

If someone knitted or crocheted a gift item for you, what would you love the most?

Surprise: a shawl!

Despertares by Clarice Gomes

Despertares by Clarice Gomes

Do you have a favourite yarn and why?

Most yarns have something to say to me. But I love the colours of Dyed by Alfinete, an amazing Portuguese dyer.
I confess to having a weakness for single-ply yarns: give me Malabrigo Mechita and I’ll knit and design happily .

What’s your favourite of your own designs and what do you love about it?

My favourite pattern is usually the one I just published, so, for now, it is Marafado. The word Marafado is a regionalism from Algarve (the south region of Portugal), and means playful, even elfish. That truly defines this pattern: when you think you know what to do next, you’re wrong, this time it’s different, it plays with you and surprises you and at the end presents you with a magnificent shawl.
Saltimbanco by Clarice Gomes

Saltimbanco by Clarice Gomes

Is there anything new you can tell us about or a recent design you’d like to chat about?

I’m working with a yarn brand and this collaboration will result in a look book to be published in 2020, if all goes well.

What’s your favourite colour?

All but yellow.

Inverno by Clarice Gomes

Inverno by Clarice Gomes

Have you been a participating designer in the Indie Gift Along before and what do you love most about it?

It’s my 5th year already!
It’s an amazing group of crafters from all over the world, chatting, changing experiences and supporting each other in the most amazing ways.
One of the most enriching aspects is to get to know the persons behind the beautiful patterns of the event.
 

Which Gift Along 2019 designers inspire you and why?

They all are inspiring and it’s difficult to point just a few.
I’ll start highlighting of our team leaders, like You Loraine, finding time in their busy schedules to devote top this project.
There are amazing crochet designers on the GAL, like Natalia Knonova. We end up with a new perspective of crochet following their work.
As for knitting, the way Lily Go combines lace with textures always surprises me as do the travelling stitches on Triona Murphy designs and the colour work of Sara Huntington Burch.
And so many others!

How do people get in touch with you or see more of your work?

 

Christmas Tea Cozies 3 sizes, 4 characters, ebook

 

Aline Modular Cardigan ladies knitting pattern is released

Quick links to our shop

Austermann Yarns, Baby Yarns, Debbie Bliss Yarns, Lanas Stop Yarns, Araucania Yarns, Schoeller & Stahl Yarns, Felting Yarns, Noro Yarns, DK Yarns, 4ply Yarns, Aran Yarns, Fur Yarns, James C Brett Yarns, Lion Brand Yarns

Robynn Weldon Interview Gift A-long 2019

Robynn Weldon Interview Gift A-long 2019

Robynn Weldon, Indie Design Gift A-Long 2019 Interview

Today we’re chatting to a good friend of mine, Robynn Weldon, whose designs range from cute and simple baby accessories to elaborate lace and brioche.

How did you get into knitting/crochet and who taught you? What made you want to start designing?

Everyone in my family does needlecrafts (even my dad had a knitting and sewing phase), so it was something I more or less just absorbed through osmosis. But it was only in high school that I got completely hooked, using it to stave off the boredom of boarding school. At the time I didn’t have much access to good patterns, and in any case improvising our own designs was exactly how the rest of the family did it, so it never really occurred to me to knit or crochet any other way.

From the time knitting started going online I was keen on putting my designs out there, but between work (including running an online yarn shop!) and babies, it was a long time before I actually got around to making it happen.

Elfbaby hat by Robynn Weldon.  Photo © Lorna Lynch

Elfbaby hat by Robynn Weldon. Photo © Lorna Lynch

What’s you favourite part of the design process?

Pretty much every part other than modelling photos? Of course I enjoy the knitting but I also get great satisfaction from wrangling spreadsheets to figure out all the shaping details, and I really love writing and laying out the pattern. My professional background is in publishing so it’s a lot of fun to apply those skills to my hobby. I also sometimes work with other designers on their romance text or layout, which again is very satisfying.
 

What inspires you?

Is it pretentious to say “everything”? I think many knitters share that feeling of constantly seeing textures or colour combinations that just beg to be rendered in yarn form. And of course I get plenty of ideas from other knitwear. But most of my actual designs start with the yarn, or at least, a combination of yarn and a nagging sense of wanting to explore a particular shape or construction.
 
For instance, I have a shop-bought cardigan that’s literally just a long rectangle with two sleeves stuck in. I wanted to do a version of that, but using lace-weight (for the best drape and minimum bulk) meant I had to find some more interesting treatment than the original’s plain stocking stitch, or I’d be bored stupid. That’s how Pavonis came along.
Pavonis by Robynn Weldon

Pavonis by Robynn Weldon

Are you a full-time or part-time designer and how does that fit into your life?

Very much part-time. I’ve found I don’t have a structured enough approach to deliver patterns at the rate necessary to make a living at this (to say nothing of the marketing and other skills needed). I have huge respect for those who manage it! My output (never very fast) has slowed down a lot over the past year, thanks to work pressures, and I’m so glad that I don’t need to stress over what that means for the family budget. I’ve found that creatively speaking, I don’t perform well under pressure.

Do you have a favourite thing to design and why?

Good question! I tend to think in garments, but I haven’t actually designed many of them. I do a lot of cowls and scarves. Looking ahead, I definitely want to do more garments; I have so many ideas and sketches. Having recently given myself permission to design purely for fun, without trying to fit into a release schedule or grand marketing plan, there’s honestly no reason not to do garments. I want to further explore the sideways constructions I used for Pavonis and Kadigan, for instance. And since my brioche scarves (Pravigan and Frail) have been my most successful designs, I’ll definitely be playing with more brioche. And more mini-skein designs – I have so many ideas for colour play and yet I’ve hardly done any so far.
Frail scarf by Robynn Weldon

Frail scarf by Robynn Weldon

Do you have much time to make things for yourself or for gifting?

I always knit a bunch of small things in the Gift-a-Long but otherwise, for years I was really only knitting for design purposes. I’ve made a point of changing that this year, making a few shawls for myself and for friends. (One was improvised, two were from fantastic patterns by Emily K Williams – Stoer and Toscaig.) I absolutely love designing but I think I’m happiest when there’s a better balance. Otherwise my hobby becomes just another thing to judge myself on: am I being productive enough, am I being “successful” enough? I think that’s a pretty common trap.
Kadigan by Robynn Weldon

Kadigan by Robynn Weldon

If someone knitted or crocheted a gift item for you, what would you love the most?

Probably toys! There are so many ridiculously cute designs out there (like this sloth https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/baby-sloth-2) but I hate making toys – so fiddly. Or socks, for a similar reason. They’re so lovely to wear but I’m pretty bored by knitting socks.

Do you have a favourite yarn and why?

Often whatever I’m using right now is my favourite. But I think the Knitting Goddess’s BFL/Masham blend is right up there – it’s an amazing balance of softness and resilience, with a beautiful lively, fluffy spin. I used it for Kadigan and there was a lot of ripping as I figured out the shape, but the yarn held up so well, without pilling.
Pravigan by Robynn Weldon

Pravigan by Robynn Weldon

What’s your favourite of your own designs and what do you love about it?

I love ALL my children! (Ok no, not true, some of the early kids’ knits were very pedestrian.) But I think Twist Again is the one I’d most like to re-knit, it’s very satisfying. I think it’s the most underappreciated of my designs. On the opposite end of the scale, Elfbaby is steadily popular and seeing new versions pop up is a constant delight.
Twist Again by Robynn Weldon

Twist Again by Robynn Weldon

Is there anything new you can tell us about or a recent design you’d like to chat about?

My last design, Games Night, is a super fun spiral construction; I’m working on my fourth right now (since I didn’t keep the samples but my kids are mad keen on it) and it’s not boring yet. The way the yarns are magically tidied away as you go makes me feel super clever. Although the colour blocks are a big part of the design, I’m curious to see a version in just one, variegated colourway. You’d just have to use stitch markers to keep track of the blocks, instead of colour changes.
I’d also like to mention Mokita, which I released in April – this was a very emotional design for me. I originally knit the aran version for my mother, and then the lace-weight version became a way of grieving for her and working through some very complicated feelings. I donate all proceeds from this shawl to the mental health charity Mind. You can read about why on my blog. http://www.studio-miranda.com/blog/2018/12/the-truth-that…

Games Night by Robynn Weldon.  Photo © Miss Babs 2019

Games Night by Robynn Weldon. Photo © Miss Babs 2019

What’s your favourite colour?

I tend to love colours in combination, more than singly, but I wear more teal than anything else. Teal with chocolate brown, with red, with grey, with green and purple… teal is my personal neutral!

Kissable mittens by Robynn Weldon

Kissable mittens by Robynn Weldon

Have you been a participating designer in the Indie Gift Along before and what do you love most about it?

I’ve been participating since 2014 and would never miss it! It’s always so much fun to explore what other designers have been doing, and stuff my queue. I love having the excuse to knit other people’s patterns, rather than working it all out myself. Some years I make quite a few things, this year I might only finish one by year-end (Claire Slade’s Woodland Loafers), but there will definitely be more showing up in the after-party.
Wraparoche by Robynn Weldon

Wraparoche by Robynn Weldon

Which Gift Along 2019 designers inspire you and why?

What a tough question! There are so many hugely talented designers in the GAL. Sarah Schira’s endlessly charming gnomes blow me away (and make me reconsider my anti-toy-knitting stance). I love Paola Albergamo’s unexpected colourwork and high-energy photos. And I’m in awe of my friend Emily K Williams, who creates such consistently strong (and well-written), original patterns with a very coherent aesthetic.

How do people get in touch with you or see more of your work?

 

Christmas Tea Cozies 3 sizes, 4 characters, ebook

 

Aline Modular Cardigan ladies knitting pattern is released

Quick links to our shop

Austermann Yarns, Baby Yarns, Debbie Bliss Yarns, Lanas Stop Yarns, Araucania Yarns, Schoeller & Stahl Yarns, Felting Yarns, Noro Yarns, DK Yarns, 4ply Yarns, Aran Yarns, Fur Yarns, James C Brett Yarns, Lion Brand Yarns

Christine Guest Interview Gift A-long 2019

Christine Guest Interview Gift A-long 2019

Christine Guest, Indie Design Gift A-Long 2019 Interview

Today we’re chatting to a good friend of mine, Christine Guest, who a knit and crochet designer.

I’m Christine Guest. I homeschool my youngest two kids; figure out what gluten free meals are nutritious, tasty and cheap (my daughter and I have Celiac Disease); volunteer at church; and write knitting and crochet patterns. The writing gives me something technical, artistic and relatively linear to talk about.

How did you get into knitting/crochet and who taught you?

I learned to crochet at Pioneer Girls at church when I was in third grade, then borrowed a library book to learn to knit when I was 15, so I wouldn’t be someone who could only crochet.

Herringbone Toque by Christine Guest

Herringbone Toque by Christine Guest

What made you want to start designing?

In the beginning I didn’t understand crochet pattern instructions, but I did understand sewing shapes so designing made sense as long as I could convince my Mom that I wasn’t wasting yarn or time. Those early sweaters were hysterical; once I made a life size stitch chart on a brown paper bag, because I didn’t realize you could measure a swatch and fill in a schematic. Algebra class should have had some word problems about crafting.

My Aunt Bev asked me if I was going to, “Waste money on patterns, or buy one book that told you how to make everything.” I thought she meant Elizabeth Zimmerman, but I think she meant the pattern atlas my Grandmother had. Now I will buy a pattern to see how another designer did something cool and not to make the item. I think my Aunt is laughing at me from Heaven.

Library Window Watchcap by Christine Guest

Library Window Watchcap by Christine Guest

What’s you favourite part of the design process?

Wrestling with stitch pattern ideas. I have notebooks of ideas that struck me from the Barbara Walker Treasuries and Threads magazines in 1990. Most have been realized, but I still haven’t charted the ring cable dog.
Ivy Vine Mittens by Christine Guest.  © Shannon Lynn Photography 2012

Ivy Vine Mittens by Christine Guest. © Shannon Lynn Photography 2012

What inspires you?

The Lord put so much beauty and order in the world that inspiration is everywhere; leaves, seed pods, old swatches, the neighbor’s cat, old sketch book pages I haven’t moved along recently…

Are you a full-time or part-time designer and how does that fit into your life?

Part time. I spend about an hour and a half between breakfast and homeschool tutorials on pattern writing and marketing, sometimes swatch development or sample knitting or crochet. After tutorials, meals, tidying and exercise, I often write a bit in the afternoons. Movie nights are great for sample making!
Knitted Library Window Watchcap by Christine Guest

Knitted Library Window Watchcap by Christine Guest

Do you have a favourite thing to design and why?

Stitch patterns. Most of my designs start with the phrase, “I love this stitch, where is a non-tacky place to use it?” I made a list of items I could put a sparrow on before deciding on a bag for the Sparrow Reticule.
Sparrow Reticule by Christine Guest

Sparrow Reticule by Christine Guest

Do you have much time to make things for yourself or for gifting?

So far I get to keep my samples, so I was sizing them for myself, friends or family, but there is a limit to how many jobs one item can do.
 

If someone knitted or crocheted a gift item for you, what would you love the most?

I’m forever losing my mittens, so a fancy colorwork pair with birds or animals on them.

Do you have a favourite yarn and why?

It’s out of production, but I loved Ballybrae Clan Tweed. That’s what I crocheted my first sweater out of. I paid for the yarn with money from my first non-babysitting job, at a really cool LYS I could walk to.

What’s your favourite of your own designs and what do you love about it?

Oh dear, I love them all. But the Herringbone Pattern Scarf has sold more than all my other patterns combined. (It’s probably the photo my brother-in-law’s wife took of him that does it.)
Herringbone Parallelogram Scarf by Christine Guest

Herringbone Parallelogram Scarf by Christine Guest

Is there anything new you can tell us about or a recent design you’d like to chat about?

Did you see that sideways ribbing in Habibi and Andalus? I’m so proud of that short row slide technique.
https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/habibi
https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/andalus

Andalus by Christine Guest

Andalus by Christine Guest

What’s your favourite colour?

My garden is constantly surprising me with what goes well together, and how much I love colors that I thought I didn’t like.

Apiaceae by Christine Guest. Photo © Avi Dascaloff 2019

Apiaceae by Christine Guest. Photo © Avi Dascaloff 2019

Have you been a participating designer in the Indie Gift Along before and what do you love most about it?

I have been part of it since the first year. I love the commaraderie, and how much I learn from other designers; how to pin photos, use Instagram, and bundle designs.

Which Gift Along 2019 designers inspire you and why?

Lee Meredith because her patterns are so colorful and clever
talitha kuomi because she can crystalize a design to it’s simplicity, and that is super hard work.
Paola Albergamo because her modular shawls are so beautiful, and her photos make me want to dance.
Natalia Kononova did you see Spica Embossed Bag? What wonderful crochet
Hunter Hammersen, her pattern books are like stitch books. Very clever stitch books.
Christelle Nihoul I love her colorwork cowls, especially when the motifs float away from the established patterns.
Amy van de Laar Those bee patterns, and now more lovely colorwork cowls.
Barbara Benson Her pattern books have so many technical tips, and she’s another clever simplifier.
Kerri Blumer, those knotted front shirts!

There are more, but I’ve fan girled on long enough.

How do people get in touch with you or see more of your work?

 

Christmas Tea Cozies 3 sizes, 4 characters, ebook

 

Aline Modular Cardigan ladies knitting pattern is released

Quick links to our shop

Austermann Yarns, Baby Yarns, Debbie Bliss Yarns, Lanas Stop Yarns, Araucania Yarns, Schoeller & Stahl Yarns, Felting Yarns, Noro Yarns, DK Yarns, 4ply Yarns, Aran Yarns, Fur Yarns, James C Brett Yarns, Lion Brand Yarns

Casey Day-Crosier Tangerine Designs Interview Gift A-long 2019

Casey Day-Crosier Tangerine Designs Interview Gift A-long 2019

Casey Day-Crosier, Indie Design Gift A-Long 2019 Interview

My name is Casey Day-Crosier, and I run Tangerine Designs. I design accessories, sew project bags, make knitting needle gauges, and pretty much knit constantly. I live in St. Peters, Missouri – a suburb of St. Louis – with my husband and two girls. I work for a Local Yarn Shop, as staff and a knitting instructor. I love being apart of a great community of fiber artists.

How did you get into knitting/crochet and who taught you?

I tried learning to knit from books, but it never made sense to me. But after a friend picked it up, I decided to try again – but with YouTube as a guide. You could say that I’m a graduate of YouTube University!

In The Light by Casey Day-Crosier

In The Light by Casey Day-Crosier

What made you want to start designing?

Tangerine Designs was originally just Project Bags and other accessories for fiber crafters. Several years ago my father got very sick, and it was hard to keep up with sewing from home. But knitting is portable! You can knit in hospital rooms. And with ideas popping into my head as I was knitting other things, I just decided to get those ideas out of my head and down on paper. It gave me a creative outlet in the midst of hardship.

What’s you favourite part of the design process?

It’s usually that a-ha moment when an idea actually comes out how I envisioned it.
That's The Way by Casey Day-Crosier

That’s The Way by Casey Day-Crosier

What inspires you?

It’s always different. Sometimes, it’s a song lyric or a stitch pattern; but a lot of the time it’s the yarn itself. A perfect color combo is one of my favorite things!
 

Are you a full-time or part-time designer and how does that fit into your life?

I’m a part-time designer, or an “inspiration hits me” type designer. I find time in between all my other work and raising a family.
The Ocean by Casey Day-Crosier

The Ocean by Casey Day-Crosier

Do you have a favourite thing to design and why?

I do love to design hats. They are smaller objects that most people feel they can accomplish in a short amount of time. And I really like to wear them!
Open Road by Casey Day-Crosier

Open Road by Casey Day-Crosier

Do you have much time to make things for yourself or for gifting?

I’m actually a pretty selfish maker. I make things here and there for friends, family, and as for samples for my LYS; but tend to accumulate a lot of things for myself.

If someone knitted or crocheted a gift item for you, what would you love the most?

Anything! I know the work that goes into such gifts, and just being thought of is heart-warming.

Bron Yr Aur Stomp by Casey Day-Crosier

Bron Yr Aur Stomp by Casey Day-Crosier

Do you have a favourite yarn and why?

I’d say YARN is my favorite! I just can’t use alpaca – I’m allergic.

What’s your favourite of your own designs and what do you love about it?

Right now it’s my latest, Open Road hat. It’s really the only hat I’ve worn since finishing it. I really love the slip stitch panel and how the hat decreases.
Four Sticks by Casey Day-Crosier

Four Sticks by Casey Day-Crosier

Is there anything new you can tell us about or a recent design you’d like to chat about?

I have an idea percolating using this fantastic color called Mustard Seed from O-Wool. I’m actually getting ready to swatch this afternoon.

What’s your favourite colour?

I love teal and aqua. Probably half the things I create are in that color range. I’ve been trying to remember that there are other colors, but it really is a struggle.

Communication Breakdown by Casey Day-Crosier

Communication Breakdown by Casey Day-Crosier

Have you been a participating designer in the Indie Gift Along before and what do you love most about it?

This is my very first year as a participating designer. It’s very exciting. I’m not too chatty, but I love looking at all the Finished Objects from people. I pretty sure my queue has grown by at least 20%!
 

Which Gift Along 2019 designers inspire you and why?

I just discovered Megan Nodecker, Pip and Pin. I’m really loving her aesthetic. And I love her sweaters. I admire anyone that does garments since I’m an accessory designer.

How do people get in touch with you or see more of your work?

 

Christmas Tea Cozies 3 sizes, 4 characters, ebook

 

Aline Modular Cardigan ladies knitting pattern is released

Quick links to our shop

Austermann Yarns, Baby Yarns, Debbie Bliss Yarns, Lanas Stop Yarns, Araucania Yarns, Schoeller & Stahl Yarns, Felting Yarns, Noro Yarns, DK Yarns, 4ply Yarns, Aran Yarns, Fur Yarns, James C Brett Yarns, Lion Brand Yarns

Natasha Sills Gritty Knits Interview Gift A-long 2019

Natasha Sills Gritty Knits Interview Gift A-long 2019

Natasha Sills, Indie Design Gift A-Long 2019 Interview

Today we’re chatting to knitwear designer Natasha Sills of Gritty Knits, who is a crochet designer taking part in the Indie Design Gift A-Long.  

Hi there! My name is Natasha and I am a pattern designer, knitter, crocheter, spinner, and I dye yarn & fiber for my business, Gritty Knits. I live with my husband and our dog in Houston, Texas, USA.

I have a ton of hobbies – I’m one of those people who feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day to do all the different crafts. Ideas for new patterns come at me faster than my hands can knit them, so I live in a constant deficit. Maybe I’ll catch up one day when I’m 100.

Snapshot by Natasha Sills

Snapshot by Natasha Sills

How did you get into knitting/crochet and who taught you?

My great-grandmother was a crocheter when I was young but I never expressed any interest in learning back then, which is something I regret. I learned to knit in my 20’s from a book – Stitch ‘n’ Bitch by Debbie Stoller. And I’m so glad I did. I had no idea at the time how it would completely take over my life.

What made you want to start designing?

Though I had come up with a few small things over the years, I feel I truly became a designer as a result of becoming a dyer. I was very surprised by the number of people who would come to my fiber festival booth, pick up a ball of yarn, and ask “What can you make with this?” I didn’t realize how many knitters and crocheters relied on samples for inspiration, and how much those samples on display would help my sales. Many of my early designs were made for the sole purpose of showcasing the yarn itself. Then over time as I had more ideas, the designs took on a life of their own. Lately, my thinking has switched from “What can I knit to make people buy this yarn?” to “What yarn should I use that will best fit the pattern I want to write?”

My Favorite Weekend hat by Natasha Sills

My Favorite Weekend hat by Natasha Sills

What’s you favourite part of the design process?

There’s no better feeling than the “a-ha” moment when you solve a difficult design problem. Gauge math, unusual construction, repeats that don’t divide evenly… Sometimes the solution comes after a good night’s sleep. Other times after I put the project down for a year, I pick it up again and suddenly everything that didn’t make sense before makes sense now. I am a problem solver by nature and that is such a satisfying accomplishment each time I work something out.

What inspires you?

Seeing people who have knit my previous designs. It blows my mind to think how this thing that used to exist only in my head has now become a part of someone else’s life. It’s such a great feeling to know that the hard work I’ve put into this has paid off, and if I’m being honest, it’s an ego boost too! I am so thankful and flattered every single time someone chooses to make something I have designed. It makes me want to keep going.
A Proper Pair of Gloves by Natasha Sills

A Proper Pair of Gloves by Natasha Sills

Are you a full-time or part-time designer and how does that fit into your life?

Definitely part time. I would do it more if I could, but I have early-onset arthritis and a couple of other health issues. I never have the stamina to do as much as I want. Being my own boss is a way to have fun doing something I love while still being able to set my own deadlines, take time off when I need to, and try to make at least a little cash on the side.

Do you have a favourite thing to design and why?

I’m an accessories girl – shawls, hats, gloves, slippers. I have lived my whole life in Texas, and it is H-O-T here. I have very few opportunities to wear sweaters. I prefer to knit smaller items because they’re the only things that are useful to me. Plus the quicker I finish a project, the quicker I can publish. Cranking out several small things is more satisfying than one huge project that takes forever.
 
Purrl the Cat by Natasha Sills

Purrl the Cat by Natasha Sills

Do you have much time to make things for yourself or for gifting?

I knit new designs almost exclusively, with the occasional personal item made for myself. My gift knitting days are over. You want me to knit you something? Ha! No way… but I’ll teach you to knit.

If someone knitted or crocheted a gift item for you, what would you love the most?

SOCKS! I love sock yarn, and I love wearing socks, but for some reason I’ve never been much of a sock knitter.
Sokkusu Socks by Natasha Sills

Sokkusu Socks by Natasha Sills

Do you have a favourite yarn and why?

I gravitate toward the wild and wacky. I almost always use my own yarn, but occasionally I’ll see something dyed by someone else that I can’t pass up. The last yarn I bought from another dyer was a colorway called The Special from Skein Cocaine. It’s every single color in the world somehow combined into one.

What’s your favourite of your own designs and what do you love about it?

Stay Out of the Forest – It hangs on my shoulders just right without slipping off, the color is so wrong but somehow so right, and I’ve gotten compliments every time I’ve worn it.
Stay out of the forest by Natasha Sills

Stay out of the forest by Natasha Sills

Is there anything new you can tell us about or a recent design you’d like to chat about?

I recently caught the brioche bug, and I’m working on a big, squishy brioche shawl right now. I’ve shown a few hints on my instagram, but I think I may keep the overall shape a secret and release it as a mystery knit-along.

What’s your favourite colour?

I love bright, intense colors. Hot pink is probably my #1, followed by all the other fluorescents.

Have you been a participating designer in the Indie Gift Along before and what do you love most about it?

This is my second year participating in the gift-along and I love it! Of course it’s nice to get a boost in sales, but my favorite part is definitely the camaraderie. It sounds a little cheesy, but it’s heartwarming to see the welcoming attitude of all the designers and participants in the forums. Everyone is so helpful and positive, and that is a very rare thing to find on the internet these days. Ravelry as a whole and this group in particular are refreshingly friendly.
Blue Morpho by Natasha Sills

Blue Morpho by Natasha Sills

Which Gift Along 2019 designers inspire you and why?

Nina & the moderators! This event has grown to such a gargantuan size, and I know it must take hundreds of hours behind to scenes to organize. Between the KALs & CALs, the games, the questions and answers… this team has its hands full, and they handle it with grace. And still they manage to find time to do their design work. Amazing.

How do people get in touch with you or see more of your work?

 

 

Christmas Tea Cozies 3 sizes, 4 characters, ebook

 

Aline Modular Cardigan ladies knitting pattern is released

Quick links to our shop

Austermann Yarns, Baby Yarns, Debbie Bliss Yarns, Lanas Stop Yarns, Araucania Yarns, Schoeller & Stahl Yarns, Felting Yarns, Noro Yarns, DK Yarns, 4ply Yarns, Aran Yarns, Fur Yarns, James C Brett Yarns, Lion Brand Yarns

Agrarian Artisan Interview Gift A-long 2019

Agrarian Artisan Interview Gift A-long 2019

Agrarian Artisan, Indie Design Gift A-Long 2019 Interview

Today we’re chatting to knitwear designer Agrarian Artisan, who is a crochet designer taking part in the Indie Design Gift A-Long.  She’s known on ravelry as vbracegirdle.

I am a designer, technical editor and tutor. With a degree in maths and a background in finance, I find the logic of pattern writing and charting is an easy blend with designing. One of my first tech edits came about because I queried a pattern in a magazine and was invited to write the errata!

Breeze by Agrarian Artisan

Breeze by Agrarian Artisan

How did you get into knitting/crochet and who taught you?

I think fibre of all types is in my blood, my grandfather had a textile business in Manchester! My mother was the seamstress of the family, all clothes were homemade. She also knitted but it was my aunt who was the knitter and crocheter and helped me learn both crafts.

What made you want to start designing?

It isn’t something I planned to do, which is why I call myself an accidental designer. Like many people I couldn’t just use patterns, frequently I would adapt them because I didn’t quite like the pattern or I thought it could be done a bit neater, and I guess it all grew from there.

Down Memory Lane Blanket by Agrarian Artisan

Down Memory Lane Blanket by Agrarian Artisan

What’s you favourite part of the design process?

The emergence of the idea into the fabric! Once the hook or needles start to bring the design to life it becomes quite magical.

What inspires you?

Anything and everything – from a leaf on a tree to an exquisite old tile on a floor. Often inspiration just seems to appear from nowhere, but I guess it is simply my surroundings talking to me.
 
Anniversary Mandala CAL by Agrarian Artisan

Anniversary Mandala CAL by Agrarian Artisan

Are you a full-time or part-time designer and how does that fit into your life?

I am part-time, I am fortunate to have the time to pursue what was a hobby into a glorious creative world.

Do you have a favourite thing to design and why?

I don’t really have favourites except perhaps the things I design that are purely things for me.
Precious Gift Bag by Agrarian Artisan

Precious Gift Bag by Agrarian Artisan

Do you have much time to make things for yourself or for gifting?

As my designing grew as an extension of my hobby, I still make things for myself or gifts. I also love to make decorations and garlands for my home at Christmas, in fact my Christmas gift and decoration making making starts in January!

If someone knitted or crocheted a gift item for you, what would you love the most?

I love anything that I receive which is handmade no matter how small. However, if anyone gifted a blanket I would be overwhelmed as I know the amount of work that goes into such a large gift.
Queen of May Wrap by Agrarian Artisan

Queen of May Wrap by Agrarian Artisan

Do you have a favourite yarn and why?

I prefer all natural fibres and this year I have made a conscious decision to avoid all acrylic and nylon. I know that those fibres are now good quality (much better than the scratchy acrylic yarn of my youth) and good value, and affordable to many, but they are plastic and we are drowning our planet in plastic.

What’s your favourite of your own designs and what do you love about it?

That’s a tough question! I fall in love with each new design as soon as I start making it, so my current favourite is what is on my hook. But if I was pushed I would say Summer Garden Throw – this was a design I submitted to Inside Crochet, I didn’t follow their submission request but started making it and then emailed asking if they would like it. It is made of lacy hexagons which could be adapted easily to a shawl or wrap – and I have made a wrap from them. Hexagons are my favourite shape.
Twits Shawl by Agrarian Artisan

Twits Shawl by Agrarian Artisan

Is there anything new you can tell us about or a recent design you’d like to chat about?

I am currently working on a blanket for my blanket CAL in February next year. It is made of hexagons which have a simple transitional pattern on them and they are proving to be a lovely relaxing mindful make.

What’s your favourite colour?

Blue, blue, blue and maybe teal

Have you been a participating designer in the Indie Gift Along before and what do you love most about it?

This is my second year as a PD, so it is quite new. I love the community party, there is so much happening that it is difficult to keep up and there are so many fabulous designers that I get engrossed in looking through all their designs.
I have to confess that I always look at the 2 games – Designer Hunt and Alphabet Soup; I think they are fun and clever.
 

Which Gift Along 2019 designers inspire you and why?

There are so many to choose from, that I just couldn’t make a choice. But the ones that inspire me the most are those that also commit so much of their time and energy to make GAL happen, as well as keeping up with their own designing – and that includes you Loraine blush

Summer Garden Throw by Agrarian Artisan

Summer Garden Throw by Agrarian Artisan

How do people get in touch with you or see more of your work?

 

 

Christmas Tea Cozies 3 sizes, 4 characters, ebook

 

Aline Modular Cardigan ladies knitting pattern is released

Quick links to our shop

Austermann Yarns, Baby Yarns, Debbie Bliss Yarns, Lanas Stop Yarns, Araucania Yarns, Schoeller & Stahl Yarns, Felting Yarns, Noro Yarns, DK Yarns, 4ply Yarns, Aran Yarns, Fur Yarns, James C Brett Yarns, Lion Brand Yarns

Woolly Madly Deeply Online Yarn Shop Cumbria UK

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